The Lost Earth Adventures Blog

How to organise a charity abseil event

Posted on: March 2nd, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

Fundraising and organising a charity abseil

Man urban abseiling for charity event
Easily one of the fastest-growing fundraising events, a charity abseil is challenging, fun and very successful in raising money. Before we get into how to organise one for your charity, let’s look at what the event actually entails…

What is urban abseiling?

Urban abseiling for charity in city centre
Most of us can relate to the fear of heights, even if you have a head for it. While rural abseiling is often preceded by rock climbing, urban abseiling brings the fear to the cities.

Participants start at the top of a chosen landmark – a building, a bridge, a viaduct, etc. – harness up, then conquer their fear by slowly rappelling down.

What makes it perfect as a charity event is the exposure you receive by being in a central location.

Think about it. Doing a charity abseil out in the sticks means friends and family will be less tempted to come and watch, while media and news crews may not make the effort.

In the city, friends can show their support, locals may stop to ogle what’s going on and it’s easy for media companies to cover your event. More exposure equals more donations to your cause. In fact, urban abseils often raise anywhere between £2,000 and £40,000+.

Is urban abseiling scary?

Woman abseiling down church for charity
We won’t lie, looking down from the top of a high building is a daunting prospect. Harnessing up and taking that first step down fills you with dread, but you may be surprised by how quickly you get used to it.

If you or your participants feel especially fearful, our trained guides are great at helping you overcome it. After all, a charity challenge isn’t a challenge at all without some element of fear.

How do you organise a charity abseil?

Well, the first thing you’ll need to do is decide which building you want to abseil down. You need a building tall enough and central enough to make your fundraising abseil stand out. Lost Earth Adventures often run charity abseils at the K2 building in Hull, a popular location. We’ve run abseils across the UK though, at just about every major city, from skyscrapers to bridges and viaducts to churches and other religious buildings.

Once you decide where you wish to do the abseil, let us know and, if we haven’t already undertaken a safety inspection, we’ll do all this for you ready for the big day.

Advertising a charity event

Vicar abseiling down church for charity
While we sort the safety, equipment and logistics of your event, you need to get people to join your event and help raise funds. Easy enough if you’re a business doing a charity event – your employees can take part.

For charities, there are lots of avenues you can explore. Speak with local businesses and national ones with offices near you. Create an event on social media and spread the word as far as you can. You could do leaflet drops in your area or advertise in local newspapers and other printed material.

Man abseiling down building in Yorkshire

The nature of urban abseiling often means people from every walk of life are willing to get involved. We’ve had young children, parents, and grandparents take part. Teachers, lawyers, doctors, factory workers and even vicars have got involved. Again, with it being in the centre of a town or city, it’s very convenient for people to join your event.

What about media and news companies? Getting coverage this way helps broaden the exposure. Naturally, we’ll also help advertise your event in any way we can. You’ll want to create a buzz before the event but taking lots of photos and videos on the day is equally important.

You can then share this immediately after the event and charities often get last-minute donations in this way. You can see more of our top tips for fundraising here.

So, now you should be all clued up and raring to start planning your charity urban abseil. See our charity abseils in more detail or explore other popular charity challenges.

The benefits of Learning Outside the Classroom

Posted on: February 24th, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

Learning Outside the Classroom: every space is a learning space

School class learning outside classroom
Recently, we were awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge, but what does this really mean? Is outdoor learning vital to a child’s development? And what about the teachers? Read on to find out more…

What is the LOtC Quality Badge?

School child learning to rock climb
Learning outside the classroom is about getting children and young people into a real-world learning experience. The Quality Badge is awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

The award is the first and only nationally-recognised award which combines the essential elements of provision – learning and safety – into one easily recognisable and trusted accreditation scheme.

Why learn outside the classroom?

Direct experience is at the centre of the LOtC. It’s not about what we learn, but about how and where we learn.

Studies have provided compelling evidence to suggest learning outside the classroom helps children and young people both physically and mentally.

What’s more, simply being outside the classroom garners more excitement in pupils, helping with their attention and concentration levels.

“The trip has had a huge impact on students. It was the talk of the classroom until the end of the term, and the use of related project work allowed students to absorb both the experience and the related learning and ensure that life-long memories have been made!”

Mr Letham, Head Teacher, Orchard Head Primary, Pontefract

The benefits of learning outside the classroom

Of course, the primary benefit of learning outside the classroom is how it affects the mentality of children.

As already mentioned, pupils often have more enjoyment from being outdoors. Independent reports show that pupils are more enthusiastic and more willing to learn as a result. The same reports suggest that, even when pupils return to the classroom, they show an improved standard of attainment, motivation, and behaviour towards learning.

It’s been well-documented that many of us take more from kinetic learning. Imagine yourself as one of your pupils for a moment. What mode of learning would you prefer; to learn about rock formations in the classroom, or to go to the rock formation in-person and learn about it there?

The LOtC finds a mix of the two. On our caving courses, we take school and youth groups deep into complex caving systems.

School child on a caving session
During the activity, our expert guides explain the rock formations, the geological history of the caves, and how the seasons affect the underground system.

Here, pupils learn what’s required as per the curriculum but do so in a real-life environment.

Our other activities have similar learning outcomes, too.

What do teachers say?

For teachers, learning in real-life environments often makes it easier to teach. Instead of attempting to garner enthusiasm for learning, the outdoors helps children motivate themselves.

This improved attitude to learning then rubs off on others, helping the class as a whole be more determined and interested.

“The school hadn’t organised a day like this before, and normally things come with some teething problems, but the activities, staff and equipment provided by Lost Earth Adventures surpassed all expectations!”

Matthew Letham, Head Teacher, Orchard Head Primary, Pontefract

“Many thanks to your teams for a fantastic weekend, the instruction from your team was excellent and they adapted the weekend to the needs and ability of our group perfectly. It has left us hungry for more!”

N Croker, Geography Department, Whitgift School


School class learning in gorge

Though some teachers think outdoor learning is not inclusive to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), the reality is quite different. As part of the LOtC Quality Badge, those accredited must understand and meet the needs of education providers. As holders of the award, we endeavour to provide activities that can be undertaken by everybody.

This level of inclusivity also applies to those from disadvantaged backgrounds – by providing all equipment, for instance. While learning inside the classroom may fail to include disadvantaged children, outdoor learning is proven to increase their self-esteem, confidence and overall engagement.

What is Ofsted’s view?

School child on outdoor learning course
In a report, Ofsted found that learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving students’ personal, social and emotional development.

As LOtC Quality Badge and AALA license holders, you can have absolute trust in our ability to deliver outdoor learning that is safe and conducive to this development.

The LOtC and Lost Earth Adventures

We create learning environments where all children can thrive. Working alongside schools, colleges, and universities, we deliver all types of outdoor learning. We also provide Public Services courses and Adventure Training for cadets.

“We were so impressed with this year’s trip that we would like to book again for next year.” Kim Kileen, Solihull College

You can contact us to find out more about our services. If you want to know more about the LOtC, please visit the LOtC website.

How to train for Everest Base Camp

Posted on: February 13th, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

Wondering how fit do you have to be for Everest Base Camp?

Training method to reach Everest Base Camp
Our veteran guide, Nev, has led many treks in Nepal and he’s always itching to get back out there. Finally, we sat him down for a moment or two to ask him all about how, why and when to train for a trekking holiday. Read on for his top tips, tricks and habits to make your life-changing trek even more enjoyable.

Everest Base Camp trekker enjoys views after training plan works
For most of us, trekking to Everest Base Camp is, by definition, a challenge. Trekking back involves some effort, too!

If you plan on trekking to it, you might have asked yourself: are you fit enough?

If you have asked yourself that, I’ll start off with some of the really good news…

Fun fact: The Base Camp trek favours tortoises over hares. Even if you take the shortcut of flying into Lukla and trekking from there, you still have eight trekking days to get to Base Camp. This is nobody’s idea of a sprint event. It’s about being slow and steady.

What’s more, we at Lost Earth Adventures arrange your baggage to be carried by porters (there being no roads after Lukla). All you have to carry is your day pack.

Even better, of the eight trekking days, two are usually ‘acclimatisation days’ where you walk unencumbered to a notable viewpoint and back again.

Getting used to that air

Everest Base Camp views on an acclimatisation day
Acclimatisation to altitude is exactly why there are strict rules as to how far you walk uphill each day.

The rule is that you don’t sleep more than 300 metres higher than your previous night’s sleep.

This means that the average trekking day (for the average trekker, I might add!) is limited to about seven hours’ trekking.

Don’t forget, the route out is the same as the route in. If the trekking or the altitude prove too much, there are always options to descend early or to wait for the return of the rest of your group.

Fitness first

Prepared trekkers enjoy hike after undertaking training plan
None of this is to suggest that you can or should attempt this without serious preparation. The more your body is stressed, the harder it is to acclimatise to the altitude.

We do everything we can to ensure you’re well-fed, well-rested and fully hydrated. These things go a long way in aiding your adjustment, but they can’t do anything to improve your fitness. That needed to happen months ago.

Once you’ve decided to do the trek, you should start training as soon as possible.

At the very least, improved fitness ensures you can enjoy more of the views all around you and less of the sight of your shoes as you pant for breath.

There’s more than one facet as to how you should prepare your body, and I like to break it down into lungs, legs, knees and back.

The body is a temple

If you go hill walking in the UK, you’ll find your ascents are first slowed down by either your lungs or your legs. You either start puffing and panting which means your lungs can’t get enough oxygen into your body, or your legs ache because they haven’t got enough muscle to process that oxygen.

The situation is different, and simpler, with Himalayan trekking. The higher you ascend, the less oxygen available to you. Getting your lungs in good fettle is essential. Improving their capacity is quite straightforward: get them out of breath. Frequently.

If the only time you’re breathless is running for buses, cut out the middleman and just go for a post-work run. Don’t worry about the distance for now. Just make sure it’s easy enough that you don’t injure yourself, but hard enough that you end up out of puff.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be running. Other aerobic exercise including swimming and cycling work well, as does uphill walking.

Thunder thighs

Scenic Everest views

Although walking uses all the body, uphill walking specifically targets the quads, the muscles on the front of the thighs that help you push your body up against gravity.

As is often the case, the best training methodology is to do the activity you’re targeting. If you’re feeling confident, you could go big by training on longer or more frequent ascents, or carrying a weighted pack on your bag.

If you can’t get into the hills regularly, you can work on carrying a load on the flat. Like all aspects of training, it helps if you can get into a routine. Maybe get into the habit of walking to the supermarket and bringing home the goods in your rucksack?

Avoiding the jelly legs

Team pose next to Everest Base Camp
Carrying heavy loads uphill is one thing. Carrying them back down is something else entirely.

Any preparation for Everest Base Camp should include the walk down as much as the walk up.

Everyone’s knees take a hammering to one degree or another, which is something that neither swimming nor cycling can prepare you for.

Running is excellent preparation for it, but some of us find running is a little jarring on our delicate knees.

That said, your trekking poles are there for this very reason, so make sure you have yours to hand.

Back to basics

While you won’t have to bring much on the trek, you will carry a 30 litre pack on your back every day. Make sure your pack feels comfortable on your back by filling it up, adjusting the straps and wearing it for a few hours. If it’s not comfortable, do yourself a favour and choose a different one!

The nitty gritty

OK, so you’re determined enough to get going. It’s time to put some numbers on this thing.

When should you start training? No time like the present.

Most people start with 3-4 x 30 minute sessions of sustained activity at moderate intensity per week. Moderate intensity means raising your heart rate and getting you slightly out of breath.

With the introduction over, time to move on to the main part of your training. This should be 4-6 x 45-60 minute aerobic sessions of sustained activity, including a gentle warm-up and cool-down with stretches.

This kind of exercise might include running, walking on an inclined treadmill, doing stair-master training, trail running, working on an elliptical machine, walking up and down hills, or joining an aerobics class.

Though biking, rowing and swimming are good alternatives, they don’t put much load onto your spine. If you decide to train with these activities, make sure you work your back.

Prominent hill walking

Team reach Everest Base Camp after intense training regime
If you’re able to get out into the UK mountains, it’s good to start with a hike which gains up to 300 metres of elevation over a 4-6 miles round trip while carrying an 3.5kg (8-pound pack). With each walk, try adding another pound until you’re comfortable with a 7kg (15-pound pack), then increase elevation. The end aim is to gain 900 metres in 3 hours with a 7kg pack.

If you live in a flat area, you can make the most out of stairs and inclined treadmills. Find terrain which will simulate hill walking, such as gravel beds, sand dunes, river banks and walking on beaches.

If you want to practice with a group, why not test yourself on a UK-based hiking challenge like the Yorkshire 3 Peaks or Hadrian’s Wall? See a list of our Open Group Events.

The benefit of interval training

Interval training is pushing your body to a certain limit, then giving yourself a set time to recover before going again. Push yourself hard, then time how quickly you recover. Keep practicing and add elevation and weight as your trek nears.

About a month before your trek, you should be at the conditioning level where you are comfortable hiking on consecutive days. This involves hiking with about 7kg (15 pounds) on the first day for at least 600-900 metres of elevation gain, and a somewhat lighter pack for greater mileage on the second day to simulate two days of trekking in a row. It’ll not only help you physically but will prepare you mentally for pushing on without adequate recovery time.

All part of the service

Of course, it’s up to you to get your training plan right, so let’s look at this from a different angle. Imagine the disappointment of getting out there and being unable to make it to Base Camp? Or, instead of training to make it there, use it as motivation to get fit(ter). What better motivation?

That acclimatisation you built up will linger for a while on your return, too. You’ll feel how ridiculously efficient at getting oxygen to your muscles your body is. Though it will wear off after maybe three weeks, there’s nothing stopping you from reaching any Personal Bests from walking to running to cycling and more. All part of the service. Go for it!

Nev is one of our most trusted overseas guides and loves the Everest Base Camp trek. He’s also written what it was like leading a charity challenge up to Base Camp.

Read more about our Everest Base Camp trek or speak with our team.

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